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Picture of Openwrt on a pc.

The little network routers you can purchase in the store are ok, but they are not upgradeable. With things changing so fast, that seems like a boon only for the router manufacturers. Also firmware upgrades quickly cease. Having a router on a pc makes more sense not only for the ability to upgrade the hardware, but you can add so many more features software wise. You are not limited by the memory or space of the boxed routers. Nothing wrong with the boxed routers for a turnkey setup. If you are like me, you want more. That is why I also use Openwrt.

This is a great project to put an old pc back to work. Openwrt is a cousin so to speak of DD-WRT that  is installed on many brand name routers to increase their capabilities. Openwrt will also allow a pc to act as an expensive router without the big price tag. Of course, you could easy use some of the router distros such as ipcop and many others (see openwrt is so much more upgradeable and expandable.

Did this with the original image on a pentium2 and it worked well. If you want the gui, you may need to install the web add-on.

Installing OpenWrt x86 on a PC. (Try this at your own risk!!!)


An X86 compatible pc (i386) or greater with at least 16MB of RAM, 2 network cards, and a hard drive. With newer versions of openwrt require higher hardware requirements. Check for more details.

OpenWrt binary file, for x86.


Newer: (need to gunzip first) to openwrt-x86-generic-combined-ext4.img

($ gunzip openwrt-x86-generic-combined-ext4.img.gz)


For M$ Windows, please also get physdiskwrite. []

For Linux just use dd.

Grab the latest binary code from OpenWrt download site.

dd if=openwrt-x86-2.6-ext2.image of=/dev/hda (where hda and image name must be changed)


dd if=openwrt-x86-2.6-ext2.image of=/dev/sda (where hda and image name must be changed)

Step 1: Adding the web interface.

Picture of Adding the web interface.


Howto get OpenWrt up and running with a web interface given the base image is running.

Edit the network configuration '/etc/config/network' (this assumes a static IPv4 address):

config interface loopback
        option ifname   lo
        option proto    static
        option ipaddr
        option netmask

config interface lan
        option ifname   eth0
        option type     bridge
        option proto    static
        option ipaddr
        option netmask
        option gateway
        option dns

Load the updated lan network configuration

# ifup lan

Edit /etc/ipkg.conf. Add the last line (bold)

(use the version for your openwrt. Latest version is 8.x)
src release
src packages
dest root /
dest ram /tmp
src X-WRT 
(use the version for your openwrt. Latest version is 8.x)

 Update and install webif

root@OpenWrt:~# ipkg update
root@OpenWrt:~# ipkg install webif


 # ipkg update
Updated list of available packages in /usr/lib/ipkg/lists/release
Updated list of available packages in /usr/lib/ipkg/lists/packages
Updated list of available packages in /usr/lib/ipkg/lists/X-WRT

Install webif

# ipkg install webif
Installing webif (0.3-12) to root...
Installing haserl (0.8.0-2) to root...
Configuring haserl
Configuring webif
Linux OpenWrt 2.6.22 #2 Sun Sep 30 21:02:32 CEST 2007 i586 unknown
Committing new firmware id ...
Device: PC Engines WRAP
Committing new device id ...
SUCCESS! Webif^2 installation appears OK. Welcome to X-Wrt!
You may need to do a hard REFRESH to clear old CSS style from your browser.
Reinitializing httpd ...


ArthurH511 year ago

M$ Windows? When you've got screen shots from a Mac? LOL -- Grow up kid

uraya1 year ago

HI.....How many user Maximum connected from wifi PC openwrt??

mwaisi2 years ago


I just installed the version 15.05 prebuilt image on an old pc. My computer's WLAN adapter and Ethernet card are not detected. I think their drivers are not in the image. What are "if any" options to add drivers from OpenWrt repository without having internet. I have a Ubuntu recovery USB key but I am not sure how that could help. Any idea?

OtávioS13 years ago

I didn't understand the dd part on linux.

How do I boot into the partition, and also what kind of file system should I format it to?

Computothought (author)  OtávioS13 years ago

If done correctly, you do not need to format the drive dd will take care of that. dd i a command line version norton ghosting utility. If yop are using mswindows, dd will not work, has to be done from a nix box.

PankajY made it!4 years ago

I am facing issue while booting up on my PC . I am trying to boot the openWRT from usb on my x86 pc.
I have downloaded code from here : git clone git://

I compiled the openWRT for X86 target and generated the below binaries.


and I have used openwrt-x86-generic-combined-ext4.img.gz using below mentioned command
sudo umount /dev/sdb1
sudo dd if=<image> of=/dev/sdb

I am getting below mentioned error.

usb 2-1:2: USB disconnect, device number 8
usb 2-1:2: new low-speed USB device number 9 using ehci-pci
usb 2-1:2: USB disconnect, device number 9
usb 2-1:2: new low-speed USB device number 10 using ehci-pci
usb 2-1:2: USB disconnect, device number 10
usb 2-1:2: new low-speed USB device number 11 using ehci-pci
usb 2-1:2: USB disconnect, device number 11
usb 2-1:2: new low-speed USB device number 12 using ehci-pci
usb 2-1:2: USB disconnect, device number 12
usb 2-1:2: new low-speed USB device number 13 using ehci-pci

I have selected x86, x86_64,

and I have enabled to yes : kmod-usb-core kmod-usb-uhci kmod-usb-storage

but after that also My issue has not been resolved.

Is it a problem due to scsi ? should I enable kmod-scsi-core also ?

I think it is a issue of configuration settings. Please let me know any suggestion. My requirement is very simple I just want to boot x86 machine and I have downloaded repository from git://

Computothought (author)  PankajY4 years ago

If you compiled it yourself, then the questions should be directed at the developers. We have only use the compiled and tested versions. You did not mention your specific hardware, so it is kind of hard to answer your question. x86_64, is for 64 bit machines not the true x86 32 bit machines. looks like you are using several nics. try just using two to begin with. The Iso suggestion is not a bad idea for test your system.

PankajY4 years ago
chudabut5 years ago

try this
First Openwrt x86 Installation ISO (24MB)

natrinicle5 years ago

I do wonder if it would be possible to adapt the (Open|DD)WRT web interface to work with HostAPD. Been using the config file for a while now on a Linux desktop I keep in my room and it's been working fine. Figure if you're able to do that, you might be able to multipurpose the machine into running a desktop OS at the same time.

Computothought (author)  natrinicle5 years ago

Anything is possible, but I prefer to just use the web interface, gui desktop interface will slow the box down and could lead to security issues. The smaller the target the better. On a closed network, it might not be so bad. One two half dozed of another.

silopolis6 years ago
Nice one
Computothought (author)  silopolis6 years ago
Your welcome.
roliop7 years ago

So how do we actually obtain plpbt_hiddenusb.iso ?

I have a Stylistic 3400 tablet that won't boot from its USB... this might be just the thing.


Computothought (author)  roliop7 years ago
I use dd-wrt on my router and I absolutely love it. I didn't know this was even possible, and if I had a desktop, I would definitely try this. Wireless-N cards can be purchased for as little as $10 a piece and older computers can be found for free.
Computothought (author)  Awesome-aniac7 years ago
Your right and that is what I did. There is a version of dd-wrt for x86, but I never could get the free version to work. Actually openwrt will work in a virtual machine.